As a full-time spokesmodel and commercial model, Kimi Weintraub has extensive experience working with different companies and brands. As the pandemic hit, she decided to use her expertise to start an e-commerce content-creation business. Her startup began small, but a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on the Clubhouse app would lead to five well-established investors vying for a chance to work with her.
“When authorities put lockdowns and social distancing guidelines into effect, I noticed how a lot of physical stores scrambled to get their business running online. Many new entrepreneurs also started creating online stores as a way to earn income during these uncertain times,” Kimi Weintraub shares. Her experience working with Amazon as a model exposed her to various individuals who felt intimidated by creating online listings or e-commerce sites. “I built a company to cater specifically to these people. I wanted to help business owners sell their products on different online and social media platforms,” says Kimi.
Navigating her new role as the founder of this startup, Kimi Weintraub started small. She worked with a few clients at a time, growing her business slowly. Last month, Kimi got invited to join the exclusive Clubhouse app. “Joining Clubhouse has given me a huge opportunity to build more connections with entrepreneurs and scale up my business,” Kimi shares. Little did she know that her decision to join the app would lead to an even more significant breakthrough for her company.
Clubhouse created Pitch Tank, which follows the format of the hit TV show Shark Tank. High-profile celebrities, investors, and entrepreneurs formed a panel that would listen to various entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and decide if they want to invest. Kimi Weintraub was one of the 2,000 people chosen to pitch her business to these seasoned investors.
“I was sixth in line to pitch,” Kimi recalls, “The five business owners who went before me did okay, but none of them got a deal. My turn came, and I used my allotted one minute to pitch hard.” Her efforts resulted in five sharks fighting to partner with her and her e-commerce content creation company. “It felt surreal. Kevin Harrington, who was an original member of ABC’s Shark Tank, even expressed interest in me being a spokesmodel with his company, As Seen on TV.”
With multiple investors interested in her company, Kimi Weintraub had a tough decision to make. She needed a partner who would help her business grow and serve as a strategic partner in her entrepreneurial journey. Kimi shares, “I chose to partner with Akemi Sue Fisher, a strong female entrepreneur.” Akemi Sue Fisher is known as the “Amazon Queen” and is one of the world’s most trusted e-commerce brand consultants. “I knew that working with her would make me grow as an entrepreneur. We have already discussed the next steps in scaling my business, and I am excited to see how our partnership will bloom,” Kimi says.
Kimi Weintraub credits her successful pitch in part to her extensive experience as a spokesmodel and host. Her classical voice training from Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, where she learned classical voice performance, diction, and vocal technique, gave her the skills that set her apart as a speaker. Having an MBA also gave Kimi the drive to utilize her business skills in expanding her career. “Learning how to run a business has given me so many opportunities to develop my career,” she shares.
“I have learned so much on this journey. I have integrated my skills as a spokesperson, model, and entrepreneur to get to where I am today,” Kimi says. “When I felt unsure, I asked advice from women I admired. Their support has helped me move forward and has inspired me to help build up other women.”
Kimi Weintraub has gone from a freelance spokesmodel and brand ambassador to becoming a CEO of a thriving and rapidly growing digital commerce company. “I hope that other people hear my story and will be inspired to turn their dreams into a reality.”